Fractures and sprains are common injuries that affect the ankle and foot, and it’s vital to get the right kind of treatment to avoid problems in the future like weakened joints. The experienced foot care experts at Lake Ridge and Stafford Foot & Ankle Centers, with offices in Lake Ridge and Stafford, Virginia, have considerable skill in diagnosing and treating all types of foot and ankle injuries. They provide effective treatment of fractures and sprains. For the best possible rehabilitation after a foot or ankle injury call today or book an appointment online.
Fractures are breaks in the bones, which are common ankle injuries. Fractures often cause similar symptoms to sprains, but because they require different treatment approaches, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis by visiting Lake Ridge and Stafford Foot and Ankle Center. Fractures and sprains do sometimes occur at the same time.
There are 26 bones in the foot, the largest being the calcaneus or heel bone in the rear part of your foot. Fractures are common in the long bone that connects to the little toe. Toes themselves are also vulnerable to fractures.
A sprain is an injury to one or more ligaments, the bands of tissue that connect bones to one another and help stabilize joints. The ligament can either stretch too far, suffer partial tears, or rupture completely. Sprains can be very painful and cause joint instability, especially if left untreated.
You might damage more than one ligament as well as other soft tissues. If the damage only affects tendons or muscles, the injury is a strain rather than a sprain.
Symptoms of fractures and sprains can be similar, and might include:
Mild sprains and fractures don’t always prevent you from walking, but both fractures and sprains can limit your mobility if they’re severe. Your ankle or foot might develop blisters, which tends to indicate a fracture.
When they first occur, both fractures and sprains need the same treatment, which is the RICE protocol:
Stay off the injured foot or ankle. Walking with an injury could make it worse.
Ice packs or cold compresses on the injured foot or ankle help keep the swelling down. Put the ice or compress on for 20 minutes with a 40-minute break before applying again.
Use an elasticated bandage to keep the foot or ankle from swelling too badly.
Keep your leg up, if possible so it’s higher than your heart. This helps the blood in your legs to get back to your heart, helping to avoid swelling.
After this initial stage, fractures and sprains need different treatments, so it’s essential to get an accurate diagnosis from experts like the team at Lake Ridge and Stafford Foot & Ankle Centers.
Treatment of fractures depends upon the type and severity of the injury. You might need a cast or splint to protect the fractured bone and restrict your foot and ankle, giving the bone a chance to heal. Prescription medications like painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs can help ease pain and inflammation. For some fractures, you might need surgery to repair the bone and any damaged soft tissues.
When you have a sprain, rehabilitation is crucial. Your provider at Lake Ridge and Stafford Foot & Ankle Centers starts you on a physical therapy program at an early stage to help your ankle to heal and make sure you’re able to use your foot normally. Physical therapy involves both sessions with a trained therapist and exercises that you need to do at home.
If your sprain is severe, for instance, if you have a ruptured ligament, then conservative measures might not be enough to restore full function. Your provider can explain to you the surgical procedures for repair or replacement of seriously damaged ligaments.
If you have a foot or ankle injury, call Lake Ridge and Stafford Foot & Ankle Centers now, or book an appointment online.